Councils set to bring back parking charges and fines for drivers across the Harrogate district
Commuters and shoppers heading to Harrogate should get ready to pay for their parking again.
Council bosses have confirmed that charges at the district's 28 car parks, as well as on the street, will be brought back in when shops reopen on Monday, June 15.
It comes after all charges were suspended in March to support key workers.
NHS staff, health or social care workers and NHS volunteer responders will still be able to park for free, as long as they display their NHS permit or another valid form of evidence.
Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council's Executive Member for Access, said the council is ending the suspension for most motorists for safety reasons.
“At any time, parking enforcement is an essential tool in helping to manage traffic flow to provide ease of access for all road users," he said.
"As our towns open up it is important to manage traffic and to support the emergency active travel measures implemented to enable pedestrians and cyclists to maintain social distancing.”
Harrogate Borough Council said revenue lost from car park ticket sales would be around £250,000 per month during lockdown, however, the authority is now preparing to gear up for shops reopening and an easing of restrictions.
Some councils in England have already reintroduced parking charges to claw back their climbing coronavirus costs, whilst others have waived fees for another few weeks.
Independent Harrogate, a pressure group made up of more than 200 businesses, had called for free parking to be retained indefinitely in the district.
The charges will be reintroduced at all council car parks in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and Pateley Bridge.
The council is urging motorists to use the AppyParking app in Harrogate, which is available for on and off-street parking.
Anyone needing to pay by cash is asked to use hand sanitiser before and after using the parking machine to minimise their risk of catching or spreading the virus.
Warning notices will be issued to motorists parking illegally in the run up to June 15.
Anyone with an expired permit should visit Harrogate Borough Council's website or call 01423 500600.
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter